1.1 Background of the Study
Nigeria runs 6-3-3-4 policy of education. This translates into six years of primary education, three years of junior secondary and another three years of senior secondary schools, after which students are prepared knowledge-wise for the various types of tertiary education. Primary school education in Nigeria remain mandatory for eligible children. Schools are variously established and located in communities for the enrollment and training of pupils. Primary education is the education given in institution for children aged 6-11+. Since the rest of the education system is built upon it, the primary level is the key to the success or failure of the whole educational system (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004). In this sense, primary education is declared as the foundation of all other forms of education. It is the most popular level of education in Nigeria and the world. This is because it is available in both the developed and the developing countries, as well as urban and rural areas (Olusola, 2009).
The significance of primary school education is illustrated as a place for children at such developmental stage, where they gain fundamental knowledge, skills, thoughts, feelings and actions which are considered necessary for all citizens regardless of their social status, vocation or sex (Orukotan and Oladapo,1992). It is not surprising, therefore, the global acceptance of primary education as a basic human right embodied in numerous human right treaties.Notable is the United Nations (UN) 1948 Declaration, which proposes universal primary education as fundamental goal for any nation that quest for development. Such a lofty stance was endorsed by the Addis Ababa African conference of education of 1961. More so, the OAU Charter on Basic Human Right of 1963 placed emphases on primary education as a sound tool for development. While, the UN (1989) convention on the right of child indicates that the child has a right to education and that the state (government) must ensure the primary education is not only free but must also be made compulsory (Duruh,2010). Governments in Nigeriahave variously pursued the provision of primary school education for the children since introduction of western education dating back to 1940 (Akinyemi and Ajayi, 1983). The provision of primary school education by the governments in Nigeria and its quality since the 1908 ordinance, which provided and laid the foundations for contemporary primary school structures (Duruh, 2010), have continued to raise concern and questions. These questions relate to primary school accessibility, quality, commitment and interest from the beneficiaries (pupils and their parents), have made government to respond to primary school educational provisions in many ways.